Technical Expert Meeting on Adaptation – Societal Resilience
by Celina Schelle
Today the first expert meeting on adaptation was taking place. The discussion was split up in two parts with the IFSA delegation being actively engaged in both. Our main aim was to communicate the ideas which we developed in our working group on adaptation. The first round of the expert meeting included three break up sessions where resilience in the context of society, ecosystems and economy have been discussed. The IFSA delegation together with other fellow YOUNGOS raised their voice during the break up group discussion on societal resilience. We promoted the point of view that investing in adaptation is all about securing the future.
Not only do young people make up the biggest share of the population in many countries, but we also are the leaders of the future. So countries should raise the question of how to include the youth more in the discussion on adaptation. Their potential to be a major driving force in moving forward adaptation initiatives needs to be considered and their voice be heard.
In the following afternoon discussion topics raised during the break up groups were elaborated and further developed. Our request to recognize the role of the youth in the context of adaptation was welcomed and commonly understood. One of the speakers Martin Frick from the FAO further elaborated on the importance of education as a major channel through which young people can be included, but also emphasized the concomitant impact of intergenerational knowledge transfers. Enabling children to teach parents on climate change could reach a very large group. “It is not new that children teach parents, they can grab the topic of climate change very quickly and communicate their insights.”
The importance of education beyond know-how in the context of risk management has been repeatedly illuminated, thereby throwing light on the necessity to decrease vulnerability instead. The notion of risk management as a concept is important, but the exposure and vulnerability of communities also has a social dimension which needs to be incorporated.
Thus, resilience of society means to enable people to react. Despite consensus on the relevance of education and community participation as the enabling mechanisms, ways to achieve this seem to be still subject to controversial discussion.